From AMEDU JOSEPH, Lokoja
The immediate past Minister of State, Labour and Productivity, Prof. Stephen Ocheni has called on the people of Kogi East to vote massively for Gov. Yahaya Bello, candidate of the APC in the forthcoming governorship election to enable him complete laudable programmes he has started.
This made the plea over the weekend in Anyigba in Dekina Local Government Area of the state at the conferment of Commander of Igala Kingdom (CIK) award on the erstwhile Chief of Staff to the governor, Chief Edward David Onojah who was so honoured for his contributions to the promotion and sustenance of Igala projects.
Earlier, the President of Igala Cultural and Development Association( ICDA) Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Ahmodu while performing the investiture on Chief Onojah and three other recipients urged politicians and their supporters to avoid violence and acts detrimental to the peace and progress of the state during the forthcoming governorship election.
He urged politicians to ensure campaigns of issues that will engender development of Igala kingdom even as he charged the electorate to vote for the party of their choice without molestation and harassment.
Ahmodu explained that election is supposed to be a celebration of independence for the people who are now able to govern themselves which should not be turned into a theater of war, stating that all Igala people are one united family that should not be decided because of elections.
While paying tribute to those who contributed to the completion of Igala Unity House he said what is being witnessed is a proof that Igala sons and daughters can organise themselves into a meaningful ventures that will uplift the socio economic potentials of the zone.
He added that the Unity House was conceived to be built at Anyigba for its central location in the Kingdom, stating that Idah remained the traditional headquarters of the Kingdom, urging the people to refrain from comments that can ignite disunity.
The President who reiterated his desire for a sustained peace, unity and even development across the Igala land said the award was devoid politics and religion, but for the overall development of the land.
He added that Igala awards on deserving sons and daughters of the Kingdom is not for sale, but a recognition of the individuals who contributed to the growth and promotion of Igala land.
“Igala award is not for sale or for favouritism, but for those who have passion for the growth and ideals of Igala Nation. Under my tenure, we have resolved not to trade with Igala name to the highest bidders.
“This Unity House is a dream come true and a testimony that collectively we can make the Kingdom great.
” In order to consolidate on our unity, we have embarked on extensive consultations across the kingdom and we realized that we need to reintroduce the “Italo” festival of which the implementation committee has been inaugurated today.
“We commend the untiring efforts of the recipients – Edward Onojah, Moss Alidu, Dr. Idris Omede and Chief Paul Idachaba whose enormous goodwill assisted in the completion of this gigantic Unity House.
“We therefore awarded them these greatest honours of our kingdom on them as a mark of appreciation for their passion and commitment to their fatherland and to spur others to be part of the activities that will make the Igala nation great and prosperous”, he said.
He urged the awardees to be in the vanguard of creating electoral awareness among the people to play politics by the rules and not to engage in thuggery and to carry arms against each other.
While responding on behalf of other recipients, Chief Edward Onojah gave gratitude to Almighty God and the leadership of ICDA for the honour done to them, saying the award will spur them to do more for their fatherland.
THE NIGERIA STANDARD reports that the occasion was witnessed by the Attah Igala HRM Michael Ameh Oboni represented by the Ejeh Dekina, Usman Obaje, traditional rulers from the nine Local Government Areas and prominent children of the Kingdom.